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The Invasion of Poland was the event which sparked World War II in Europe.[1] (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

Origins Edit

Poland was made an independent state by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. Nazi Colonel Oskar Steinmann later expressed the view that the "draconian treaty" was intended to punish Germany, and that it was to the detriment of the millions of German people who lived in Poland. (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War)

Throughout the 1930s, Adolf Hitler led Germany to reconquer European numerous territories. The reoccupation of the Rhineland led Winston Churchill to fear what Hitler's intentions were towards the rest of Europe, most immediately Czechoslovakia and Poland. (PROSE: Players) However, Churchill's warning were initially not taken seriously. (PROSE: Log 384)

After Germany swallowed up Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia in 1938, the United Kingdom guaranteed aid to Poland in the event of a German attack. Prior to the invasion, Germany approached the Soviet Union and agreed upon a treaty of friendship. Although Hitler loathed communism and intended to one day attack the Soviets, he prioritised Poland. The treaty stipulated that Poland be divided between German and Russia, with Hitler hoping it would keep the Soviets off Germany's back for a time. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

Invasion Edit

Germany launched the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September. This came as a surprise to Hitler as the Allies had failed to honour their previous guarantees. The Soviets also invaded. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) The Matrix noted the invasion as a part of the Web of Time. (AUDIO: Neverland)

Brigadeführer Kraus, an officer in the Schutzstaffel, took part in the invasion. He gained a reputation as the Butcher of Cracow. The invasion lasted one month before Poland capitulated (PROSE: Illegal Alien)

According to Oskar Steinmann, the German troops were cheered upon in Poland due to their commitment to unite the world under the strong ideology of Fascism. (PROSE: Just War)

Aftermath Edit

In October, after the invasion, Germany offered to continue negotiations with Britain and France, which was refused. As a way of painting the Allies as the aggressors in the conflict, Nazi propaganda stated that the war did not begin with the invasion of Poland but with the Allied declaration of war and subsequent refusal to negotiate peacefully, thus forcing the war to continue. (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War)

Many Polish air force pilots escaped to Britain and fought Germans together with the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain. They included Wilhelm Rozycki and Jan Ostowicz. (AUDIO: Their Finest Hour)

Germany subsequently took the war to Western Europe, launching a lightning war against Britain, France, Holland and Belgium. This theatre of war was a distraction from the primary Nazi aim. It was Hitler's intention that, after invading Poland, Germany move into Russia, then Persia, then Asia. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) Hostilities between Germany and the Soviet Union opened in 1941. (PROSE: Just War, Losing the Audience)

After the end of the war in 1945, Poland remained under the control of the communists. (AUDIOThe Curse of the FugueCOMICThe Broken Man)

Footnotes Edit

  1. War was already underway in Asia between China and Japan, beginning in July 1937. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)
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